Our economy could not have supported lockdown beyond 3 weeks-Minister

Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has stated that the economy, which is largely informal, could not sustain the lockdown beyond 3 weeks.

The Minister admitted this when he addressed an event at the Jubilee House.

President Akufo-Addo has been widely criticised by his opponents for lifting the lockdown which affected Accra, Kumasi, Kasoa and Tema.

The Minister said “When you look at what happened during the lockdown. It was quite clear after a point that given the 90% of our population is informal and they go out each day to earn wages, it became increasingly impossible to continue with such a policy,” he said.

According to him, Ghana will record a significant drop in revenue target for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic because the country is recording a huge decline in revenue from the port, petroleum revenue receipts as well as tax revenue.

He said the cumulative effect of the novel coronavirus pandemic will cost Ghana GHS9.505 billion.

Meanwhile, the Finance Minister has been tasked to put together a program to help the economy recover from the coronavirus outbreak, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has disclosed.

Addressing a press briefing yesterday [TuesdayMay 12, 2020,] the Minister said priority would be given to health, also roads, education, food and agriculture, security, social protection, and industrial growth.

The directive he said was given at the cabinet retreat which was chaired by President Akufo-Addo.

He said the Finance Minister has also been tasked to ensure that the macro-fiscal slippage is reduced to the barest minimum adding, the slippage is as a result of the mass cuts in national revenues due to the global economic slowdown and reduction in trade.

He said the Minister will submit the recovery program to parliament after prior approval of cabinet.

The program is to outline how fiscal function can assist specific sectors of the economy to achieve a rebound.

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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